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Archibald MacLeish, Boylston Professor of Rhetoric, hailed last night the court decision that declared the University of California's loyalty oath unconstitutional. He said the court had set forth "proud words in dark times."
MacLeish said he was gratified that "one court in this country had the courage to say that freedom of mind is the freedom of man." He spoke at the annual spring conference of the Jewish Community Council of Metropolitan Boston.
Harold Winkler '36, visiting lecturer in Government, called the decision a "magnificent victory." Winkler is one of the 26 professors dismissed last summer for refusing to sign the oath. The California District Court of Appeals ordered the reinstatement of all.
Among them are two visiting lecturers on Social Psychology, Hubert S. Coffee and David Krech, who have been here since last fall. Both Winkler and Coffee said they plan to return to California after finishing the term here.
"The verdict may become a classical decision in the history of academic freedom in this country," Winkler said. He emphasized the nation-wide implications of the verdict, pointing out that it might influence legislators in Massachusetts.
"The decision came as a surprise to me," Winkler said. Coffee said he had been optimistic all along, but had not expected so broad a verdict.
The California Board of Regents, which imposed the oath, may appeal the decision to a higher court.
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